Regional differences in fiber characteristics in the rat temporalis muscle

Eiji Tanaka, R. Sano, N. Kawai, J. A.M. Korfage, S. Nakamura, T. Izawa, G. E.J. Langenbach, K. Tanne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The behavioral differences in muscle use are related to the fiber type composition of the muscles among other variables. The aim of this study was to examine the degree of heterogeneity in the fiber type composition in the rat temporalis muscle. The temporalis muscle was taken from 10-week-old Wistar strain male rats (n = 5). Fiber types were classified by immunohistochemical staining according to their myosin heavy chain content. The anterior temporalis revealed an obvious regional difference of the fiber type distribution, whereas the posterior temporalis was homogeneous. The deep anterior temporalis showed a predominant proportion of type IIA fibers and was the only muscle portion displaying slow type fibers (< 10%). The other two muscle portions, the superficial anterior and posterior temporalis, did not differ significantly from each other and contained mainly type IIB fibers. Moreover, the deep anterior temporalis was the only muscle portion showing slow type fibers (< 10%). In the deep portion, type IIX fibers revealed the largest cross-sectional area (1943.1 ± 613.7 μm2), which was significantly (P < 0.01) larger than those of type IIA and I + IIA fibers. The cross-sectional area of type IIB fibers was the largest in the remaining two muscle portions and was significantly (P < 0.01) larger than that of type IIX fibers. In conclusion, temporalis muscle in rats showed an obvious heterogeneity of fiber type composition and fiber cross-sectional area, which suggests multiple functions of this muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-748
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Fiber types
  • Heterogeneity
  • Myosin heavy chain
  • Temporalis muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Histology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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